THIS IS a TEST
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
This scripture is very important in all of our lives. You must keep in mind that God has a master plan for you. He knows what is best for you and you just have to trust in him while also thanking him along the way. I know this is hard to do sometimes when things don’t go your way. Especially when you really want something but don’t get it. But if you keep giving thanks and remain faithful, the Lord will work it out in your favor.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so no one can boast.”
You know what I love? Control. I want to be in control of my future, my time, and myself. My overly controlled life can easily become full of achievements and totally fresh out of grace. So often, I feel like I need to fix myself. I forget that God already knows my checklist tattered heart. Luckily for me, this faith is “not by works.” God knows every anxious thought and loves me all the same. Now, that is something to be thankful for! Today, give thanks for the things that don’t go your way. Since we can’t boast of our own works to try to earn God, we know our favor with Him is not resting on these either. Let yourself be joyful as you celebrate the reminders that Grace already loves you fully, no achievements needed.
I want to start off my message this week by saying that being thankful, much like faith in Christ, is a choice that everyone must make for themselves, and it isn’t always an easy one at that. I know how easy it is to take for granted life’s good things. The clothes on my back, the food and water that I consume every day, and the roof under which I sleep are just the first items on a very long list of blessings that don’t receive enough of my appreciation, and I’m betting that I’m not alone. If it is so hard for us to be thankful for God’s material blessings, then how much more difficult is it for us to appreciate his spiritual gifts? It sounds tough, but that is what God is asks of us, particularly once we come to faith in Christ. Hebrews 12:28 says that “since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful.” This unshakeable kingdom isn’t something that we can see, hear, or feel, but it is among God’s greatest blessings. So yes, please be thankful for all the material things you have, but even more so, thank God for the things he has given which are unseen, because they can mean so much more in the end.
In this section, the church is being encouraged in their transformed identity through Jesus and taught practical actions of how to live out this identity. To me, this passage is saying that a major piece of being a new creation in Christ is thankfulness. When something is repeated in Scripture, that means it is important; being thankful is repeated in 3 verses in a row! I think that thankfulness helps to keep our pride in check-we need to be thankful because without Christ we are nothing, we have nothing, and we can’t do anything-and our souls in a state of praise. As you go through your day, try to find intervals (hours, classes, etc.) for you to think of 3 things for which you can give thanks. For me, something that simple can make my mind focus toward God and positivity!
“Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks.” -Philippians 4:6 (CEB)
Stressed about classes? Same. How many times have you complained about your workload or your life to your friends but haven’t taken the chance to give those requests over to God? God wants you to bring your problems to him, whether it’s something as small as your homework assignment due tomorrow or something as large as what your future holds. He’s caring enough to handle your small problems and he’s mighty enough to handle your big problems. However, don’t forget to give Him thanks. Not when He solves your problems, but when you bring the problems to Him. Why? Because He’s willing to listen to us and because, no matter what happens, He’s still in control and He’ll work all things for the good of those who love Him. Praise God for that!
Bama Wesley is excited to welcome alumni, parents, and other friends of Wesley to campus for the 2016 homecoming game against Kentucky! If you’re coming to campus, join us at 11am on the Rec Fields for the annual alumni vs. active students flag football game. Make sure to also stop by the Wesley building (505 9th St. across from Burke Residence Hall) from 2-4pm for a come-and-go reception where you can meet our staff, board, and current students.
Greetings from Bama Wesley!
Well, it’s about halfway through summer, and we’ll be back together in just six weeks! So, I decided to take a break from all the daily office shenanigans Jay and I are getting into to let you know about some important staff changes we’ll be making this fall.
New Associate Director
We’re excited to announce that we have hired Lucy Roberts as our new associate director! Lucy is a PhD student in Counselor Education, holds a Masters in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy from Georgia Tech . Along with her background in counseling, she has been a member of the United Methodist Church throughout her entire life, participated in the Wesley Foundation during her undergrad years at Georgia Tech, and has been a youth delegate for several years in the North Georgia Conference. She was also a leader of the Theta Zeta Chapter of Phi Mu, and the recruitment counselor for the Georgia Tech Pan-Hellenic Council. Lucy holds much of the experience and abilities that will move Bama Wesley into the next chapter of ministry at UA. With a devout and sincere faith, vast knowledge and experience in counseling, and an understanding of life on a college campus, Lucy will join our team on July 18th . Be sure and welcome her if you’re in town!
For the 2016-2017 year, our ministry area team leaders will become student ministry interns. This change comes as a result of the need for office hours and space for ministry teams. While the roles will be mostly similar to last year’s, there will be expanded responsibilities that include office and administrative work and meetings. Therefore, our five ministry team interns will be the following people:
Worship: Jamie McKelvy
Fellowship: Mallory Ivy
Discipleship: Haley Smith
Discovery/Ministry: John Austin Higginbotham
Outreach: Shelby Critcher
With one exception, the persons for these positions were decided in December of last year to allow for transition in the spring. If you are interested in being an intern in the future, we will be accepting applications for the 2017-2018 Intern positions in the spring semester. Stay tuned!
New Student Roles for 2016-2017
To help with the demands that come with a growing ministry (praise God!), we will also be adding a few more specific roles to the structure that will support our ministry:
Worship Leaders: Parker Erwin, David Conour
Will lead worship for Wesley.
Tailgating Coordinators: Emily Valdez, Jamie Tesh
Will coordinate tailgating on Saturdays.
Communication Coordinator: Emeline Earman
Will manage all communication, announcements, and social media.
As you can tell, we are working toward a structure that puts you—the students—in the driver’s seat of Bama Wesley. If you have questions about this, or if you have suggestions for positions or needs for the future, please contact me!
Things Happening at Wesley in July
As has been the case this summer, we will continue Tuesday night Wesley events each week. Stay tuned to the Facebook page for updates. During the day, Jay will be working on a variety of projects in and around the building, including moving our current offices to the apartment, our new office. If you are interested in helping, contact him. I know he’ll love some help!
Finally, I will be leaving for Wilmore, Kentucky on Wednesday, July 7th until Saturday, July 23rd . I am continuing my studies at Asbury Seminary, and will be largely out of reach during that time. If you have any needs, please refer to Jay or John during those dates.
That should just about do it for a mid-summer update. I hope you all have a fantastic break, and I look forward to seeing you all in August!